The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) has received a five-year, $1.24 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National Institutes of Health to support NAHN’s collaborative project with the Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) entitled Hispanic Role Models in Health Careers. This collaborative NIH R25 program has been established to address the need for cultural and linguistic diversity among health professionals by recruiting and interviewing bilingual role models and arranging to broadcast those
interviews. Through these efforts, the project aims to inform Spanish-speakers about the range of health careers open to them through proper education, and to inspire them to imagine themselves in careers focusing on health and medicine. Leveraging HCN’s nationally-broadcast health education radio shows, whose cumulative audiences are larger than NPR’s “All Things Considered,” as well as the social media outreach of both organizations, this project has the potential to reach one-third of the nation’s Hispanic population during its first five years. “In the United States Registered Nurses represent 3 million members and represents the largest segment of the U.S. health care workforce, Yet, Hispanics still comprise only 3.6% of all nurses (HRSA, 2010). I am excited that NIH has provided NAHN the opportunity to be able to reach out to our Hispanic youth with hopes to inspire them into becoming a professional nurse,” said Angie Millan, Principal Investigator, Hispanic Role Models In Health Careers. “This new SEPA project, Hispanic Role Models in Health Care Careers, is aligned with NAHN’s commitment to support professional career opportunities for Hispanic nurses and their effort to improve health in Hispanic communities. The project also supports the SEPA’s goals of providing opportunities for students from underserved communities to pursue careers in biomedical fields and to improve community health literacy,” said Dr. Tony Beck, director of the NIH Office of Science Education/SEPA. In addition to national media outreach, a number of bilingual online resources for health career aspirants will be established, including an extensive database of volunteer professionals who have said “¡Sí!¡Seré Mentor!” (“Yes! I will mentor you!”). These resources will provide Hispanics of all ages and walks of life with the opportunity to form relationships with seasoned healthcare professionals. Additional outreach to be established alongside the project include: public speaking and media relations training opportunities provided for attendees of NAHN’s annual conference; an Advisory Committee of health organizations, professionals and advocates established to recommend role models and provide periodic feedback; and bilingual independent evaluators associated with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health instituted to conduct rigorous evaluation throughout the project. To read more, click here.